From Right to Left

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by kellywood, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. kellywood

    kellywood New Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    Hello My Friends,
    Does anyone have any advice or ideas that would help me transition from a very dominant right eye and arm to left arm and eye? I was hit in Iraq which resulted in the paralysis of my right arm. I went into a semi-depressed state for a while, but I refuse to live my life taking meds and sitting in a recliner.
    About 6 weeks ago, I started shooting again. Only this time, left arm and eye. I have had terrible days of frustration, as well wonderful days just scoping. One day I can get a nice tight group and others, I can't hit the target. I know that it will take much practice for the transition of dominant limbs and that is one question I wanted to bring up to all of you that have been through these situations or similar. 1) Any advice on a specific way to practice that might help, and 2) What rifle would yall suggest for me to use that is economical yet fairly accuarate at 100-250yds. My range is set up out to 250yds, but I have not made it there. I will though!
    Thank you all for any pointers that might keep me from starting bad habits as I re-learn or ideas that might help get set up right with the right equipment.
    Again, thank you for letting me into the forum and any pointers that you might have. If not, it would be great to meet some True Americans that are dedicated to making sure that we have and keep our rights. God Bless.
    Respectfully, Josh Kelly
  2. BenY 2013

    BenY 2013 Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2011
    I have sorta similar problem in Trap shooting. I'm right handed but left eye dominant. What I do is shoot with both eyes open and a piece of tape on my shooting glasses covering the left eye and makes my right eye take over. Seems to help me, but I do understand this is rifle not shotgun sorry:rolleyes:
  3. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2011
    Good for you for getting out of your funk soldier. I was in the opposite boat you're now in 20 years ago when I had to go from being primarily a left hand shooter to right for similar reasons.

    Start bouncing a racket ball with your left hand and put a patch over your right eye while doing so.

    When you can do it successfully off of the floor with out having to "think" your way through it, start doing it off of a wall.

    When you have that down start trying to throw pitches through a tire at first 15, then 20, 25, and 30 yards.

    You are going to have to retrain your brain to be right side dominant so that mechanically you become left side dominant.

    It won't take nearly as long as you expect, just keep working at it and don't get frustrated.

    If I can ever be of help to you send me a pm and I'll give you my contact information.
  4. bust_em

    bust_em Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    I can't say anything on this but... thanks for everything you've done for us soldier!

    Keep your head up!
  5. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

    Jul 20, 2007
    Sounds like some really good advice from Wildrose.
    Good luck and God bless ya brother.
  6. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Well-Known Member

    Jun 12, 2001
    Switching eye dominance is just a matter of practice. You can put your finger up and practice it while watching TV.

    Shooting is principally a muscle memory situation so practice is what is called for. Don't sweat the bad groups as they would become less frequent the more you practice.

    With only one good arm I would tend to recommend a light rifle in a small caliber which will provide low recoil. Exactly which caliber would depend upon the animals to be hunted. Say for deer maybe a 243 and for elk a 25-06.
  7. midwesthunter

    midwesthunter Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2008
    I know when I practice pistol shooting with weak hand I put a patch over my eye first and the practiced keeping it closed. Try practicing only using your left arm only on the bench also. I keep my strong arm against my chest when shooting. Helps me
    Good luck and thanks for serving
  8. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2007
    It is repetition and muscle memory while training your non dominant left eye to be dominant or at least equal.

    1. The tip about the glasses with frosted scotch tape is right on. You want to train your left eye to focus while still seeing with the right. You cannot go around wearing a patch forever, you have the let the left eye learn to be the focus eye while the right is still seeing. The tape trick allows that to happen.

    2. Forget distance shooting for now. Spend the time and money on a 22 LR to master the mechanics at 25-100 yards, and in grain the muscle memory skills. THEN go to bigger calibers. You are going to need repetition, no fewer shots at 200 yds etc. You can use a 22 LR pistol and a 22 LR rifle.

    3. Traditionally, the non dominant hand does not have the fine manipulation skills that the dominant hand does. Any type of hand manipulation exercise, such as the ball mentioned, cards, etc will help the left hand learn the finer manipulation skill sets you are going to need.

    Thanks for your service!

    BH (72-96" US Army)
  9. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    I have no personal experience to offer here but do have some positive info. I have a son and a cousin who are both right handed and right eye dominate who shoot right handed rifles left handed. Both of them had injuries when they were kids one had a broken trigger finger the other a broken collar bone so being kids they just switched to the other side and never looked back. They were both in the BB gun and 22 stage when the injuries happened.

    Both of them are excellent marksman even with the kinky style :)

    Thank you for your service to this country!
  10. old_heli_logger

    old_heli_logger Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    Thanks for your service!!!!
  11. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2008
    Plus one - set your mind on it and work it through, and know that your service is very much appreciated!!!

  12. jthod

    jthod Active Member

    Dec 12, 2010
    I had the same situation, just learned to shoot with both eyes open, even when shooting a rifle

    Thank you for your service!
  13. kellywood

    kellywood New Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    Hello Gents,
    I cannot thank all of you for the tips and advice. I have already implemented several tips and will integrate the others as well.
    I had no idea that there would be so many GOOD people that would take the time to write me with all these wonderful suggestions. Thank all of you very much for all you have done to help me. God Bless!
    Respectfully, Josh Kelly
  14. cowboy

    cowboy Well-Known Member

    Jul 14, 2007
    There has been some excellent advice given above.

    The only thing I could add to the mix beyond what has been mentioned is don't be afraid to get a BB gun or pellet gun and start at short distance - say 10 yds. - then move your target back as you feel comfortable. You can't get any more economical practice than buying BB's or pellets. Repetition is the key. I started my kids off shooting in the garage in the winter up here in Montana when they first started out. Had them hitting aspirin glued to dark paper in no time at all.

    I have a son that has been over where you were and no words can describe the appreciation that I have for you and what you have done for this great country.